Saturday, December 15, 2012

After Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Twitter, Facebook users harass the wrong people

News nowadays moves at the speed of the Internet, and sometimes that speed can cast a net over someone who is completely innocent. A case in point: Ryan Lanza.

Ryan Lanza is the 24-year-old brother of 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who was the shooter involved in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that occurred on Friday. Ryan Lanza was also initially IDed as the shooter, because his brother was carrying ID of Ryan's on him. Finally, Ryan is also the man who saw his Facebook page slammed after people heard the news.

Ryan Lanza has worked at Ernst & Young in New Jersey for four years, much the same as his father, who was a former partner in the giant accounting firm. In fact, as he told law enforcement, he had not been in touch with his brother since about 2010.

However, some media sources provided a link to his Facebook page, which then became inundated with hate messages. Some even took his Facebook profile image, and splashed it on-screen.

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Lanza responded to the hate with messages denying the accusation. Based on looking at his profile on Saturday, it appears that he even deleted the profile. His current page says he joined on Dec. 14, 2012, which implies he deleted his original profile and created a new one.

At least -- if media can be given any credit -- they had the right Lanza. There are other Ryan Lanzas on Facebook, but they found the one living in Hoboken.

However, another Ryan Lanza was harassed on Twitter, prompting him to tweet "so aperently (sic) im getting spammed bc someone with the same name as me killed some ppl... wtf?"

To make matters worse, on Friday, media descended on the home of the wrong Ryan Lanza.

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